Vietnam has pulled the US-Chinese animated movie Abominable from theatres because it shows a map supporting Chinese claims to the disputed South China Sea.
Abominable, the story of a Chinese girl who helps a yeti get back to its home on Mount Everest, is a collaboration between DreamWorks Animation and China-based Pearl Studio.
The image in one scene showed the so-called nine-dash line, a vague and broken outline around the resource-rich waters China claims as its own territory.
Those claims overlap with claims by Vietnam and other Asian governments, and an international tribunal in 2016 invalidated China’s vast claims in a case brought by the Philippines.
“We will be more alert and more vigorous in censorship,” the head of the government’s cinema department, Nguyen Thu Ha, was quoted as saying.
The film has also been met with criticism from Vietnamese movie fans.
“It is an insult to Vietnam,” said student Minh Hieu.
Another student, Nguyen Mai Huong, said: “I wouldn’t watch it even if it still showed in the cinema. The (nine-dash) map is straight-up wrong. And I am absolutely not going to support it.”
Abominable began playing in the Philippines and other South China Sea claimants Indonesia and Taiwan in early October.
Vietnam’s ban comes during an increasingly tense stand-off between its ships and a Chinese survey vessel and escort ships in disputed Vanguard Bank off Vietnam.